Wordpress Sidebar Templates: What are and How to Use them?

Andrei Iordache

Andrei Iordache

WordPress Developer

ūüöÄ I Help People Get Found Online | WordPress Development, Core Web Vitals, Security&Maintenance

What is WordPress sidebar?

A sidebar in WordPress is basically a narrow column can be found on the left or right side of the web page. It is also a place where you can put your widgets in WordPress.

Most of the WordPress themes come with at least one sidebar. In some cases, you may find multiple sidebars. For example, some themes come with a sidebar on the left and right side of the page.

The default position of the sidebar is on the right side of the page but you can easily change it to the left side if you want. You can even have multiple sidebars on both sides of the page if needed.

The sidebar is a great place to put your Widgets. WordPress comes with a few default widgets you can use. For example, there’s a widget for recent posts and recent comments.

You can also add your own custom widgets to the sidebar. For example, you could add a social media widget to display your Twitter, Facebook, and RSS feed icons. Or, you could add a search widget so people can search your site. And the best part: If you want to monetize your website, you can use Sidebar ads banners.

Ultimately, the sidebar is a flexible area of your WordPress site. It’s up to you how you want to use it.

What is a WordPress sidebar template?

Finding the perfect WordPress sidebar template can be a challenge. There are many factors to consider, such as the purpose of the sidebar, the available space, and the overall look and feel of the site.

When choosing a sidebar template, the first step is to identify the purpose of the sidebar. Is it meant to be a navigational aid? A place to showcase popular content? A way to encourage social sharing? Once you know the purpose of the sidebar, you can narrow down your choices.

The next step is to consider the available space. Sidebars are usually displayed on the left or right side of the page, so you’ll need to take into account the width of the sidebar and the content area. If the sidebar is too wide, it will dominate the page and make the content difficult to read. If it’s too narrow, it might not be able to hold all the content you want to include.

Finally, you’ll need to consider the overall look and feel of the site. The sidebar should complement the design of the site, not clash with it. This means choosing a sidebar template that uses the same colors, fonts, and style as the rest of the site.

Picking the perfect WordPress sidebar template is a balancing act, but with a little thought and effort, you can find the one that’s just right for your site.

How to Use Sidebar Templates in WordPress?

Using an include statement, you may build various sidebar templates for different pages of your WordPress site. When you create an include statement, you simply instruct WordPress to include a given file on a particular page.

This is the code that pulls the standard Sidebar template (Sidebar.php) into all other templates, including the Main Index template (index.php):

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>

If you want to know more about Sidebars (How to register a Sidebar and how to customize it), go here: Docs

WooCommerce & Sidebar.php

A custom sidebar.php file in WooCommerce can be used to override the default sidebar file. This is useful if you want to customize the sidebar for your WooCommerce shop. For example, you could add a special link to the sidebar that goes to your shop’s cart page, or you could add a search form to the sidebar so that customers can search your shop products directly.

In woocommerce/templates/global/sidebar.php, you can see how woocommerce displays the sidebar.

<?php
if ( ! defined( 'ABSPATH' ) ) {
exit; // Exit if accessed directly
}

get_sidebar( 'wooshop' ); ?>

It will search for sidebar-wooshop.php first, and then sidebar.php. So all you need to do is create sidebar-wooshop.php under your theme folder.

And in your sidebar-wooshop.php, display the widget area you have registered.

Sidebar-wooshop.php file

<div class="sidebar">
<?php dynamic_sidebar('sidebar'); ?>
</div>

There is another approach to show woocommerce specific widget area using the same sidebar.php. Since WooCommerce has some conditional tags, we could use is_woocommerce() to determine the page uses WooCommerce templates or not.

Sidebar.php File

<div class="sidebar">
<?php

if ( is_woocommerce() ) {
dynamic_sidebar('sidebar');
} else {
dynamic_sidebar('default-sidebar');
}

?>

</div>
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15:32 22 Jun 22
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18:39 14 Jul 21
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